Recently, EPA upgraded to Microsoft Office 2007 from Office 2003. While I'm glad we're no longer using Office 2003, we should have upgraded to the most recent version of Office available at the time of the upgrade, which was Office 2010.
"Upgrading" to an already outdated software product will only cause EPA to have to upgrade Office again much sooner than we would have had we upgraded to the most recent version available. This wastes money.
The government should make it a policy not to purchase software that is already out of date, unless there are known, documented problems or incompatibilities present in the most recent version, even if the initial cost is somewhat higher than upgrading to an older version. At a minimum, the projected cost of the inevitable repeat upgrade must be considered when purchasing a non-current software product.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that the government must upgrade software solely because a new version is available. I am suggesting that, once the decision to upgrade software has been made, the government should upgrade to the most recent version available. In other words, it's OK to skip versions (e.g. to upgrade straight from Windows XP to Windows 7, or straight from Office 2003 to Office 2010).